By Tim Hunt
Hurray for Sunflower HillUploaded: Feb 8, 2018
Let’s join the Sunflower Hill board and parents of special needs adults in celebrating the City Council’s approval and financing for its residential project on Stanley Boulevard.
Susan Houghton, herself the parent of a special needs son, told the council that it had been a long six years—yes, but a short process compared to what happened with Pleasanton Gardens and Kottinger Place that took 14 years to get approved.
For Pleasanton, this moved quickly—driven by both the obvious need and the political acumen of Houghton and others who built impressive support that moved both the council and the planning commission to approve the surrounding residential project.
When the council approved the 87-unit residential project on the long-vacant Irby property last year, 1.64 acres were set aside for affordable housing and designated specifically for Sunflower. The non-profit has partnered with Satellite Affordable Housing Associates to build 31 units plus a community center and other amenities. It will be operated by the builder with an onsite manager.
The council’s approval also included the financing package: $2.25 million loan from the low-income housing fund (that is unlikely to be paid back unless the project starts operating at a profit) plus $7.2 million from the city’s share of the county-wide housing bond. The county bond also allowed the second phase of Kottinger Gardens to move ahead this year.
Houghton told the council that Sunflower plans to apply for state and federal tax credits soon and, if they are approved this summer, construction could start before the end of the year.
A similar Sunflower project already is underway in Livermore that will house 44 adults with developmental disabilities.
Congrats to all involved for persistently and aggressively tackling the challenge of providing long-term solutions for their adult children.
Hope Hospice’s annual report to the community showed some different trends as well as expansion of its services to meet the needs of patients and potential patients better.
The key expansion was home health care that can bring the organization’s excellent pallative care to patients before they qualify for an official hospice diagnosis (less than sixth months to live).
The patients served grew by nearly half, 48 percent, while the fastest growing category was dementia care. It’s now 38 percent of the patients compared to 28 percent with cancer and 20 percent with heart or lung diseases.
The good news in this is that the majority of the patients were older (36 percent in their 90s and 37 percent in their 80s). Fifteen percent were in their 60s, demonstrating that the population, as a whole, is living longer.